Introduction: Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is one of the most prevalent muscular dystrophies. Nevertheless, little is known about the risk of developing functional impairment. Here we determine the 6-year risk of functional impairment in FSHD.
Methods: A retrospective cohort of 313 genetically confirmed, clinically affected FSHD participants in a United States registry between January 2002 and June 2011. Our main outcome was wheelchair (WC) use.
Results: The 6-year risk of WC use was 24.0% (95% confidence interval 18.6-29.3). The distribution of WC risk was bimodal, with a peak in the second decade associated with large D4Z4 contractions, followed by an age-related increase in risk. Other functional categories showed moderate risk. Prevalence of hearing aid use and difficulty pronouncing words was increased in large D4Z4 contractions.
Conclusions: The 6-year risk of functional impairment in FSHD is moderate, and early WC use is associated with large D4Z4 contractions.
Keywords: D4Z4 contraction; Facioscapulohumeral dystrophy; Functional impairment; Muscular dystrophy; Neuromuscular disorders.
Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.